Archive for April, 2015

Peru – Peruvian civil society reaffirms right to health to be above commercial interests

Peru – Peruvian civil society reaffirms right to health to be above commercial interests

  • 29th April 2015
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Several Peruvian civil society organizations continue their protests in order to demand improvements in access to antiretroviral drugs. Among these requirements is the rejection of the patent of exclusivity of certain laboratories which, for instance, the purchase of medicines like REYATAZ brings a surcharge of up to 20 times more. Undoubtedly, a blow below the belt to the national budget. Recently, members from more than 15 organizations of civil society, including AID FOR AIDS Peru, signed a statement calling for the improvement of health policies. You can read part of the statement below: “We, the undersigned organizations that have been working for more than 20 years in the right to health and access to medicines and the defense of the rights of our citizens, have been promoters and participants of the change in health policy, and we state that: We recognize the role of the different actors of the system…
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Bareback culture: a risky sexual behavior

Bareback culture: a risky sexual behavior

  • 24th April 2015
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Bareback is a sexual practice among men who deliberately don’t use condoms. This also represents a dilemma for science and health, since it increases the risk of acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. The availability of medicines, the need of transgression or the primary pursuit of pleasure are factors that have fueled this practice around the world. Having sex at risk of acquiring HIV, leads to raise a host of questions about such conduct. Ford Hickson, researcher at the London School of Hygiene, said that “the causes for which a person decides to have risky sexual behaviors are many”. The author describes some of the reasons that encourage such behavior, which include the power of sexual pleasure, the rapid expansion of the gay scene, continuous denigration of homosexuality in society and the emotional isolation that entails, individualistic cultural norms that reject notions of responsibility and optimistic bias of assuming…
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Argentina – If the country says NO to Gilead, more than $ 11 million could be saved by purchasing generic Truvada

Argentina – If the country says NO to Gilead, more than $ 11 million could be saved by purchasing generic Truvada

  • 23rd April 2015
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The community of people with HIV in Argentina has mobilized to reject the patent of Truvada, because if the State authorizes the order in the country, generic versions of Truvada could manufacture, which would represent a potential savings of more than $ 11 million. Fundación Grupo Efecto Positivo (FGEP) along with Red Argentina de Personas Positivas (Redar positive) submitted a call for attention to the Patent Office of Argentina to reject the patent requested by Gilead on a drug that is marketed in the country with exclusivity and high-priced. The Argentine Ministry of Health must provide treatment to more than 41 thousand people with HIV who are benefiting through the national program, of these, more than 5 thousand people are treated with Truvada. The annual investment of the country for the purchase of Truvada is more than 12 million dollars. Undoubtedly, a billionaire business to Gilead. On the other hand,…
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Truvada does not replace condoms

Truvada does not replace condoms

  • 21st April 2015
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Hundreds of questions about the correct use of this drug were raised since the advent of the controversial pill known as Truvada as a method of prevention of the acquisition of HIV. Truvada has become strongly popular in countries like United States, Brazil and South Africa and has generated expectations about the future of the use condoms. “There are people who think it is easier to take a pill instead of using a condom”, said Dr. Juan Carlos Vargas, gynecologist and head of research of Profamilia in Colombia. “Stopping to put on a condom during sex is one of the reasons why the drug has become so popular”, explaind Dr.  Vargas as one of the reasons why the drug has become popular in countries such as The United States. However, countries like Colombia uses Truvada alone for the treatment of people with HIV, not as a method of prevention. According…
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Colombia – District attorney’s office finally assumes crimes of hatred towards the LGBTI people

Colombia – District attorney’s office finally assumes crimes of hatred towards the LGBTI people

  • 17th April 2015
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A seminar was held in Bogota from 26th to 27th March to train investigators of the Attorney-General’s Office on issues related to crimes committed against LGBTI people. This training is part of a wider process of restructuring of the entity that seeks to have a differential and transversal approach when it comes to investigate crimes committed against LGBTI people. “It is about recognizing a minority, which has been historically segregated without having an adequate system of research allowing to know what happened in each case, and in this way making a proper collection of evidence and allegations”, said the District Attorney, Jorge Fernando Perdomo. In order to succeed a restructuring of the Attorney’s Office is needed to allow a more appropriate work with the police department, judges and the Institute of Legal Medicine, avoiding these kind of crimes to go unpunished. “This is part of a policy of the Attorney…
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Mexico – Sex, Power and Money Forum and human trafficking

Mexico – Sex, Power and Money Forum and human trafficking

  • 17th April 2015
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On March 18th the “Foro Sexo, Poder y Dinero (Sex, Power and Money Forum) was developed within the framework of the program of the University for studies of gender of the National Autonomous University of Mexico with the participation of international researchers with a critical view on anti-trafficking laws. During the event topics such as girls and women trafficking in different regions of the world were discussed. For instance, Shah Sveti, Researcher at the Harvard University in the United States, has documented since 1996 how social differences affect directly the policies and programs aimed at the sex trade in India. On the other hand, Kerwin Kaye, of the Wesleyan University of Connecticut presented a research developed in San Francisco, with youngsters from 16 to 19 years old, who have escaped from their houses because of the rejection of being homosexual and they sustain themselves through sex work. “The feminist abolitionist…
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Peru – Bristol Myers pretends to enrich using commercial extortion

Peru – Bristol Myers pretends to enrich using commercial extortion

  • 15th April 2015
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The Bristol Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical has proposed to the Ministry of Health of the Peru, change the treatment scheme to increase the volume of their sales of Atazanavir, and thus reduce the cost of the medication, which is 25 times higher priced and generates 54% of the budget to purchase HIV medicines in the country. This situation can be considered as an attack to the health of people with HIV in Peru! “Bristol Myers is willing to lower 12% of its price in the first year and up to 40% in the second year, subject to the condition of placing Atazanavir as a first-line drug, which means a clear interference in public health policies”, commented Aníbal Velásquez, Minister of Health of Peru. In Peru, Atazanavir is as second-line drug, which is used for those people who have become resistant to other treatments. This means that the patient will lose previous…
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Knowing the TRP of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

Knowing the TRP of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

  • 12th April 2015
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The Technical Review Panel (TRP) is a group of international experts in the three diseases and cross-cutting topics, such as health systems issues, which meets to review proposals based on technical criteria, and also makes financial recommendations to the Executive Committee of the Global Fund. The TRP considers that the approach of financing incentives is not working. On the one hand, countries do not have equitable access to financing, the processes are very complex and generate excessive expectations in the countries. Regarding the methodology of allocation of funds for the Global Fund, according to the Technical Review Panel, it has failed to allocate resources to the most-needed countries and those more effective and priority interventions, at the same time that priority is given to sustainable investment. Similarly, the Technical Review Panel is working with the Global Fund to mitigate some inconsistencies in the model and the allocation of resources, but…
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April 2015 – 33rd Session of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund, new strategy, achievements and human rights

April 2015 – 33rd Session of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund, new strategy, achievements and human rights

  • 9th April 2015
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Last week was held, in Geneva, the 33rd meeting of the Board of Directors of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This time it was intended to begin the process of development of the new strategy, which is expected to guide the funding mechanism in what will perhaps be the most significant years to achieve a breakthrough in the eradication of the three diseases. This new strategy offers the opportunity to increase what the Fund does regarding the promotion and protection of human rights. The new strategy must also be able to demonstrate a clear strategic direction in terms of the sustainability of the programs once the Fund stops working in many countries. To carry out this strategy it is important to sustain and increase the financial commitment of donors, which will be in evidence in the next period of replenishment of resources starting this year. To…
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Global Fund Partnership Forum to be held in a criminalizing country

Global Fund Partnership Forum to be held in a criminalizing country

  • 9th April 2015
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Despite the support of the Global Fund Board, the delegation of different communities and the NGO implementing block, the Global Fund Partnership Forum will be held in Ethiopia; a country that penalizes gay men and other men who have sex with men. In accordance with the criminal code of the Republic of Ethiopia: “sexual acts with same-sex persons are punishable with prison of ten years or more” The delegation of communities and civil society delegations attending the meeting of the Board of the Global Fund have opposed strongly the selection of Ethiopia to be the host of the Global Fund Partnership Forum. Ethiopia is a country that strongly condemns homosexual orientation, which will put at risk the security and integrity of the participants in this forum. “Holding a Partnership Forum in a country with a legal framework which criminalizes key populations contradicts the basic principles of the Global Fund (...)…
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